Do512’s Restaurant of the Week: Gino’s East


Gino’s East started serving their deep dish pizzas in 1966, when the original pizzeria opened in Chicago. Their signature deep-dish pizzas quickly became the favorite of local Chicagoans, and before long that popularity extended to all manner of celebrities, politicians, and world travelers who would stop by Gino’s any time they were in Chicago.

Gino’s East has a history nearly 50 years in the making, but their famous deep-dish pizza tastes the same as it did back then. Each pizza is made by hand, featuring with a secret, golden crust, fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh ingredients, and served in well-seasoned pans.

Luckily, us Texans don’t have to travel far to enjoy some of Chicago’s best pizza. Austin’s own ATX Brands has fueled a Gino’s East’s expansion across Texas, with five locations expected to open within the coming year. ATX Brands Founder and CEO Doug Guller opened the Austin location in June of 2015, taking over the former Parish Underground space at 214 East 6th Street.

Along with classic Gino’s pies, the Austin menu features Texas-themed dishes like the BBQ Brisket Za, featuring BBQ brisket, caramelized onions, and roasted sweet peppers. If you stop by Gino’s East and have a flair for the spicy, you’re going to want to try the Chicago Fire. It’s a hot & spicy patty-style sausage pizza, complete with fire roasted red peppers and red onions. Another hot item is the spicy pepperoni on top of the Diavola, complimented with mozzarella, basil, and white truffle oil.

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“Gino’s East is considered by many to have the best deep dish pizza in America, and I thought Texans would get excited about having Gino’s as an option now,” says Guller.

In terms of interior, Gino’s East keeps it old-school. It’s an ambiance that harks back to a time when the local pizzeria was a meeting place for all shapes and sizes. Basically, it’s a salt of the earth pizza joint. The cozy, family-style booths, dim lighting, and laid-back atmosphere make this restaurant the kind of place you can call home.All of the restaurants will incorporate signature design elements including the iconic graffiti walls that will be integrated into all of the Texas locations.

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Along with hearty, Chicago-style pizzas guests can enjoy a variety of craft beer (in both Austin and Chicago varieties), plus cocktails, wine, plus salads, sandwiches, and Italian comfort fare. The restaurant also features multiple big screens to watch the big games. It’s the perfect one-stop shop on 6th Street for eats, drinks, sports, and more.

“As soon as I tasted Gino’s East, I knew it was a concept that would work great here. I am so excited that this is a dream that turned into a reality,” says Guller.

This is Gino’s fifth location in Texas, including Dallas, Arlington, San Antonio, and Houston. These branches are helmed by Doug Guller and his ATX Brands group, which includes Parish, Pelon’s, and the Scoot Inn. Gino’s East is planning on opening their second San Antonio location soon, and a second Gino’s in DFW in September.”

We are excited to have Gino’s East as Do512’s Restaurant of the Week! Be sure to enter to win a $25 gift card to try out this delicious pizza for yourself! For more on Gino’s, visit and

Do512’s Restaurant of the Week: Slate


Slate bills itself as a Mediterranean restaurant, and they are one; in the same way that someone could accurately state that Pink Floyd were a rock band. That is to say, they can do Mediterranean food, but it’s certainly not the only thing they do exceptionally well. If there’s one thing that becomes readily apparent when looking at Slate’s menu, it’s that they have their fingers in many culinary pots.

In fact, Slate are more than okay with tricking you into trying something new that you end up loving. When you hear the words “Mediterranean Food”, images of Gyros, Dolmas, and Spanakopita probably pop into your head. Sure, these are delicious staples of the genre, but they’re by no means where the cuisine stops. Slate goes the extra mile to prove that.

The first course, perhaps as proof that they are indeed proficient in what is seen as the traditional Mediterranean fare, was the Mezze Plate. It’s a generous serving of house-made Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Toum, Olives & Poura. If you’re unfamiliar with Toum, it’s a delectable vegan garlic lemon paste that you can dip almost anything into and enjoy. Indeed, Slate knows exactly how to hit the sweet spot when it comes to the standard staples of the area.


Kyle Burns, the General Manager at Slate, is one of those guys who has bounced all over the Austin culinary scene over the course of many years. He’s a seasoned vet who described Slate, right down to the name, as an attempt to start “a clean slate”. Everything from the pleasingly calm tones of the restaurant’s interior to the well-varied menu suggests an intention of optimistic rebirth. He explained that as a kid, certain food types; just the names, could drive him away from wanting to try them. In a way, Slate is an effective method of meeting in the middle. You might think you’re in for one thing, when in fact you’re in for a whole lot more.


At some point, it was time to step off the reservation. The Costillas, which are essentially Slate’s answer to traditional baby back ribs, were drenched in a Hoisin BBQ sauce. These things were seriously tasty, with a distinctly Asian flavor that confidently announced Slate’s commitment to a diversity of influences. It was unsurprising to hear that the Costillas remain the Waitstaff’s favorite meal to eat before working an extra long shift. They didn’t inspire the usual BBQ-induced lethargy. Instead, they fired us up.


We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our sommelier, who was unpretentiously labeled “our wine dude”. He was there every step of the way with different suggestions of red and white wines to pair with our meal. It’s also worth pointing out that on Wednesdays, wine is half off. One wine in particular, Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise, was exceptionally memorable. Not just because of the trippy Grateful Dead-looking skull on its cover, but because of how goddamn perfect it was with the Balsamic Flank Steak. Excuse the language, but this thing was The Real McCoy in steak form.

Marinated for around six hours and stuffed with roulade of prosciutto, provolone, and arugula, and placed atop a triumphant mountain of pasta. The Balsamic Flank Steak should be reason enough to visit Slate. Somewhere in the frenzy there were Jumbo Crab Cakes with Shallot Cream, Ahi Tuna Tartare with with a Wasabi Wonton Crisp and Avacado Mash, and a Tiramisu that was perfectly infused with just the right amount of Kahlua.


At some point in our fevered consumption, Executive Chef John Lepper made his way out of the kitchen to chat with us. John’s the type of burly, good-natured dude who seems destined for the food business by divine mandate. You can’t really picture him happy doing anything else. He’s from Connecticut, originally, and seems like the kind of guy who you could have a beer (or several) with. It was very clear was that John is the kind of person who thinks about food constantly. New ways to serve it, how to make it better. He’s cut from the sort of cloth that you want a Chef to be cut from.


All told, Slate is helping to redefine not only what a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant can be, but what a restaurant on West 6th can be. Their numbers beside the entrees on their menu are a far cry from the obnoxiously-inflated price points of other places, but with just as much flavor and care packed in them. They’ll help you understand wine without being showy or precious.

At its core, Slate is a restaurant full of people actively working to make West 6th a better place to have a meal, while casually redefining a typically niche genre of food while they’re at it. Even in a city as gastronomically-inclined as Austin, we still have a ways to go. With Slate leading the way, we should be more than okay on our journey.

-Contributed by Rory Jones

Deep Eddy Vodka Partners with Heaven Hills Brands


Heaven Hill Brands, the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Austin’s own Deep Eddy Vodka, one of the fastest-growing brands in the distilled spirits industry.

Since its introduction in 2010 with the original Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, and Deep Eddy Straight Vodka in 2011, the business has sold more than 500,000 cases today. Deep Eddy Vodka is propelled by its Austin-bred roots, use of all-natural fruit juices, production process and iconic brand imagery.


The brand achieved extraordinary growth beginning in 2013 with the launch of the Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka that resulted in over 300% sales growth. In early 2015, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka was launched and has further led to unprecedented growth for the business.

“This is an incredible day for Deep Eddy Vodka,” said Eric Dopkins, who will continue as President of Deep Eddy Vodka. “The Deep Eddy team and their distributor partners will remain in place and continue to build on the exceptional momentum of the brand alongside Heaven Hill.”

Deep Eddy Vodka (70-80 proof), a premium spirits company based in Austin, Texas, was founded in 2010 by two local entrepreneurs with a background in beverage and spirits, Clayton Christopher (creator of Sweet Leaf Tea) and Chad Auler (creator of Savvy Vodka).

As a recipient of the Impact Hot Brand Award for two straight years and Beverage Information Group Growth Brand Award each of the past three years, Deep Eddy Vodka is recognized for its unique production process and incorporation of real, natural ingredients in its flavors.

All Deep Eddy Vodka products are distilled in small batches at its state-of-the-art Texas distillery.  The company’s line of products include: Deep Eddy Straight Vodka, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, Deep Eddy Ruby Red, Deep Eddy Cranberry and Deep Eddy Lemon. Deep Eddy Vodka is available in stores in all 50 states.

Do512 Restaurant of the Week: Bess Bistro


Turning 9 this year, Bess Bistro on Pecan is basically an Austin staple at this point. In a city overflowing with new restaurants featuring trendy toasts, micro fusion plates and more; Bess Bistro has stood the test of time with a simple formula: hearty amazing food, a great wine and cocktail list, and a beautiful interior.

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Think grilled wild caught salmon paired with a roasted summer squash picked straight off the Bess farm or crispy beignets covered in powdered sugar and a toffee sauce all served within a pristine fine dining atmosphere. With their ability to bring approachable, hearty meals to a fine dining atmosphere this Austin staple is on its way to becoming an Austin legend.


Walking into Bess Bistro you may forget that you are in Austin at all.  The candlelit underground speakeasy is full of intimate dark corners perfect for clandestine meetings, dates, or a salacious girls night out. Intricatetiled floors, brass railings, simple prints, and antique adornments paired with vintage French movies playing behind the stunning pewter bar create a posh but quirky atmosphere. The cool, dark interior is the perfect relief from the hot summer days, and will spirit you away to 1920’s France or mid 90’s New York.

While the interior may take you to a place far away from Austin, one look at the menu and you are instantly back. The seasonally inspired menu features ultra-fresh ingredients, from the restaurant’s garden on the West side, featured in approachable, affordable fusion dishes.   The dishes are classic fusions of French, Spanish, Mediterranean, and Asian; think braised goat ravioli with a harissa tomato butter or rich ricotta gnocchi served with a seasonally inspired ratatouille but one can also see hints of Southern influence with a creamy shrimp and grits and freshly grown plump green tomatoes lightly fried and accompanied with blackened crawfish and a Cajun remoulade.

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Executive Chef Roman Murphy states that he is inspired by both the bountiful harvest of the local farm as well as the spirit of Austin: adventurous eaters looking for a mix of the old and the new. His dishes excel in pairing the fresh, local produce with bold, exciting ingredients such as pig heads, truffles from afar, and goat legs. Raised in the Austin service industry and trained in classic French cuisine he has brought a new eye to the Bess Bistro menu; classic, approachable dishes which showcase a passion for fusion and inspiration in Spanish, Meditteranean, and even North African cuisine.

The menu which is separated into 3 categories: Morsels, Mouthfuls, and Mains offers something for everyone ranging from petite beautifully plated appetizers, to heartier shared plates including the stellar burrata and grilled peaches dish, and  the best proteins in the land from juicy Waygu beef burgers topped with chef’s famed kimchi BBQ sauce to a distinctively tender braised short rib with a red wine reduction atop horseradish grits. Despite the abundance of quality ingredients the dishes are surprisingly affordable and exactly the perfect size for feeling perfectly satiated.

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Of course what better way to capitalize on a stellar food menu then to pair it with a great drink menu. Featuring a distinguished wine list, whether you are a wine snob or a beginner this is the best place in the city  to sip upon some of the world’s most exclusive wines. General Manager, Marc Smith, also has plans up his sleeve to roll out a specialty wine list featuring ALL female winemakers. Embracing the femininity of the restaurant and atmosphere Smith states that he wants to focus on the female winemakers because they tend to “make a better wine than men, they let the grapes really be what it wants to be.” Calling all boss babes that love a great glass of wine!

For those who don’t love the grape, the extensive drink menu also features top-shelf spirits as well as a glowing cocktail list. Separated into two categories: By Hand and On Tap, both showcase housemade cocktails with fresh ingredients mixed either by or hand or kept on tap, to guarantee freshness and create a lovely effervescence to the drinks. Stop by to sample any one of their refreshing cocktails including the crisp Lavender Bees Knees, a spicy Texas Mule made with house chili infused Tequila and a seasonally rotating Patio Punch (perfect to sip on the beautiful Terrace.)



Besides being the perfect place for a ladies night out or steamy date, Bess Bistro’s ridiculously good Happy Hour makes it the perfect location for that after work drink and snack. Occurring from 4:30-7:30 every Tuesday to Friday and all day Sunday and Monday, the Happy Hour menu features select cocktails for only $5, $3 Firemans Blonde Ale, and select Bubbles, White, Rose, and Red for only $5.

The Tastes of the Terrace food menu includes select dishes from the Mouthful portion of the menu ranging from only $6-$8 and includes a stellar Artisanal Cheese plate featuring 3 select local cheeses, the Pickle Jar with fresh from the farm local veggies, or the seminola dusted artichoke hearts.

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Having heard of the amazing deals for Happy Hour and a new chef to boot, Do512 was elated to be invited to stop by and sample some of the dishes off of the Bess Bistro menu with Marc Smith and Roman Murphy. What better way to kick off a great meal than great cocktails? Our lovely bartender whipped us up the Spring Thyme Lemonade and a Watermelon Mint Julep to start off our evenings.

The Spring Thyme Lemonade was composed of gin and fresh off the farm sprigs of thyme for an exciting, bubbly take on lemonade while the Watermelon Mint Julep was the perfect blend of juicy watermelon, fresh mint, and delicious bourbon. Crisp and refreshing, these cocktails were the perfect dash of Southern charm to sip on a hot day.

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To pair with the delightful cocktails, Chef brought us out three of his favorite dishes: Shishito Peppers and Beef Tartare off of the Happy Hour menu, and the famous Day Boat Scallop Dish. The shishito peppers were the ideal starter. Fresh off the farm and perfectly blistered, the mild peppers were smoky but light when paired with a charred lime and a beautiful roasted garlic aioli and served in a lovely little silver platter.

The Beef Tartare dish was divine; paired with pickled mustard seeds, Parmesan, and a light herb aioli the tartare was served with these amazing crackers, baked from scratch at sister restaurant Walton’s Staple down the street. We could have sat and ate the crackers all day, they were that good.

The final dish was the crowning glory: The Day Boat Scallops. This dish was the ideal blend of textures: perfectly seared scallops atop a creamy espelette risotto and topped with crispy pieces of tempura style corn, charred silky avocado, and a roasted grapefruit beurre blanc for a light citrus zing to the dish. It was the embodiment of Bess Bistro on a plate; a little bit of traditional, farm fresh ingredients, and a whimsical fusion twist. It was one of the best meals we have ever tried in Austin and we can’t wait to go back in a few months for the premiere of the Fall menu!

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If you are looking for the perfect location for your next date, bachelorette party, meeting, or just a great meal we highly suggest you check out Bess Bistro. Fine Dining meets approachable food and cocktails, for prices you can’t beat, in a beautiful location, what more can you ask for? Make sure to also check out the fantastic Happy Hour with $5 cocktails, select wines and delicious starters. Check out their website and Facebook page for updates on menus, sneak peeks of new dishes and more!  Enter to win a $30 gift card to Bess Bistro here!

– Contributed by Page Jensen Slattengren

The Black and White Years // The Cover Letter // Sons of Santos and more at Cheer Ups // Aug 22

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Maven Made Entertainment is back at Cheer Up Charlie’s for a cross genre explosion of stellar acts taking over both the inside and outside stages. Local heavy hitter The Black and White Years will be joined by indie folk sweet hearts The Cover Letter. Bringing their Americana sound from down I-35, San Marcos’ Canvas People are slotted to open the outside stage. Inside catch Beaumont natives and Austin locals Sons of Santos with their smooth, sensual and string-heavy songs.


The Black and White Years have been compared to Talking Heads with some regularity during their career. This isn’t an altogether incongruous comparison, nor is it fully on the nose. Yes, The Black and White Years feature a lead singer whose vocal styling might be considered flamboyant. The band also happened to be discovered by former Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison during SXSW, who went on to produce their first full length album.

The band has released two full length albums since 2008’s self-titled debut, with each record further expanding on the sounds they started with. With an ethereal blend of guitar and keys, a propelling bass line and split-stage percussion, The Cover Letter is a captivating five-piece band.

Doors are at 8pm, and cover for this show is just $5!

9:00PM Canvas People
10:00PM The Cover Letter
11:00PM The Black and White Years

12:00AM Sons of Santos
1:00AM Mattresses

For more info click here!